Electronics distribution today is greatly affected by the ever-changing nature of modern technology and the frequent introduction of new and innovative products to the market.
What may be deemed as a hot product by manufacturers and suppliers can often become obsolete virtually overnight. In addition to this, the emergence of a sophisticated and demanding consumer who insists on superior products at lower rates and faster turnaround times is increasing the competitive climate of the marketplace. Now, more than ever, component distributors in South Africa must closely monitor their product portfolio to ensure that their company's line card matches the needs of their manufacturing customers.
In terms of modern IT technology electronic data interchange (EDI) is used extensively, both between suppliers and customers. An e-commerce strategy covering business to business trans-actions is in place for implementation during the year 2000.
Arrow Altech Distribution, a subsidiary of Altech - the R3,5 billion JSE-listed electronics giant, is Africa's leading industrial, electronic and computer component supplier and represents many of the foremost international component and computer product manufacturers in the world. These principals offer products as diverse as Pentium processors to connectors and batteries. Together, its more than 100 industry franchises provides AAD with an extremely well balanced product portfolio, enabling the company to provide more than 24 000 line items to a customer base in excess of 1000 major accounts. A comprehensive supplier list can be found at www.arrow.altech.co.za
With the headquarters of AAD conveniently located in Jet Park close to Johannesburg International Airport, AAD services other parts of South Africa through branch offices in both Cape Town and Durban. Exports of computer products are regularly undertaken to Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and other sub-Saharan countries.
In line with the quality objectives of the Altech Group, Arrow Altech Distribution was certified ISO 9002-compliant by Dekra Certification Services during April 1995.
Philip du Preez, Managing Director of AAD, reinforces Arrow International's beliefs, and said that "AAD ensures a clear understanding of each customer's needs and as a result is able to represent the manufacturer's products to its end users and also reflect the customer's needs to the manufacturers. Business has to change from being product-driven to being customer-driven.
"The focus must not only be on the quantity of the transaction but also on the quality of the relationship. We at Arrow Altech Distribution are not merely visualising this goal, but are making a conscious effort every day to achieve it. Therefore, our vision of becoming your distributor of choice is not a dream for the future, it is a reality and is in place now."
Last year Altech consolidated AEC, EBE, Fairmont and Pace to create one southern African distribution entity namely Arrow Altech Distribution. In October 1997 the formation of a joint venture with Arrow Electronics, the world's largest Stock Exchange listed component distributor with a turnover of US$ 10 billion, was announced and Arrow Altech Distribution (AAD) was formed.
AAD's high-tech facility houses offices and a 6000 m2 state-of-the art distribution centre. It has been modelled on the proven layout used by Arrow internationally and features one-of-its-kind barcoding technology and rapid conveyor systems. The facility was designed to increase competitiveness and reduce costs and time to market. It also boasts its own emergency power supply to keep operating even if the public power supply should fail.
AAD is able to offer to the market a vast range of value added services including kitting, cable assembly, chip design, programming (PLA, PLD etc), JIT/Kanban shipments, sub assemblies, bar-coding, dedicated inventory, special stock holding, single invoices for multiple shipments, specialist technical support, special custom part numbers, sourcing for kits/shortages, multiple suppliers products from a single source, value added networks, sophisticated order status summaries, design support for all product areas, internal technical support teams, Internet/intranet capability, consolidated shipments, MRP processing, components sourcing and many more.